Caution: Catalytic Converter Theft Remains High

Last Spring Elliott, Powell Baden, and Baker reported that with the uncertainty and unrest in the Portland Metro area, we identified a steep rise in catalytic converter thefts. Although things are slowly re-opening and stabilizing in Portland, the team at EPB&B cautions that there remains an extremely high incident of catalytic converter theft. 

Catalytic converters change harmful substances in a car’s exhaust gasses, into less harmful substances like carbon dioxide and water vapor through chemical reactions. Catalytic converters contain precious metals (mostly platinum) that are valuable, some are being cut out of cars and taken on the spot, in other circumstances, the vehicles are being stolen, and then parted out.  

 “Prius’ are specifically at higher risk because it takes longer to burn out the precious metals and higher prices are paid for Prius cast”, Erica McDaniel Claims/Workers Compensation Specialist at EPB&B Insurance explains, “however, there has been an increase in converters stolen from SUVs and trucks due to the high clearance of the undercarriage making it easy for thieves to get in and out quickly.”

To address this growing concern in Oregon, SB 803  took effect on January 1, 2022. This bill prohibits scrap metal businesses from purchasing or receiving catalytic converters, except from commercial sellers or owner of the vehicle from which the catalytic converter was removed.  

However catalytic converter theft will likely remain a lower priority for law enforcement due to the continued break-ins and violence that still plague the Portland Metro area. We encourage everyone to consider taking extra precautions in these uncertain times.

Contact us for more information on how you can protect your property.  

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